Cornelius Vanderbilt, aka "The Commodore" and patriarch of the family, constantly criticized his oldest son when William was growing up, referring to him as incompetent and a blockhead. It wasn't until later in life that William proved him wrong, finally convincing his strict father that he was capable of taking on the family railroad business and other interests. William subsequently inherited the bulk of his father's millions and doubled it during his lifetime.
Courtesy Public domain via Wikipedia.
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